Luxury Group Richemont’s Q3 Sales Rise Helped By Tourist Demand

ZURICH (Reuters) -Richemont reported an 8% rise in quarterly sales on Wednesday as returning tourists in Europe and Japan helped the world’s second biggest luxury group compensate for a weaker Chinese market.

The maker of Cartier jewellery and IWC watches said its sales rose to 5.4 billion euros ($5.82 billion) in the three months to the end of December, up from 4.98 billion euros a year earlier.

The figure missed the 5.67 billion euros forecast by analysts. When currency movements were excluded, the company’s sales increased by 5%.

The improvement was led by Japan, where sales increased by 30% helped by “solid” domestic sales and a gradual return of tourism. The lifting of Covid restrictions mid-October as well as a comparatively weaker yen also helped.

In Europe sales increased by 17% helped by strong local demand and returning tourists, particularly from the Middle East and the United States.

But the Asia Pacific region saw sales fall 7% as sales in China, Hong Kong and Macau fell.

“The massive increase of Covid cases negatively impacted customer traffic and, due to staff unavailability, led to a reduction of boutique opening hours or temporary closures of points of sale in mainland China, leading to a sales drop of 24% during the period under review,” Richemont said.

($1 = 0.9276 euros)

(Reporting by John RevillEditing by Paul Carrel)